2 months ago

Shop owners demand extension of business hours during Ramadan

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Shop owners groups in Bangladesh are urging the government to extend their business hours during the upcoming Ramadan to lessen their losses.

Traders are counting huge losses as a result of their compliance with the government's order to close shops by 8 pm, according to Arifur Rahman Tipu, president of the Dhaka Metropolitan Shop Owners' Association.

Against this backdrop, they are calling for the closing time to be extended by two hours to 10 pm during the first 15 days of Ramadan, as most of the sales take place after the evening prayers, Tipu said at a media briefing on Thursday.

After that, the shopping hours can be extended further, depending on the customer turnout, until the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr.

As the war in Ukraine stirred volatility in the international energy market, Bangladesh stressed the need for austerity and took measures to limit the consumption of power and energy to ease the strain on its foreign exchange reserves. Rolling blackouts were reintroduced as prices across the board began to soar, paving the way for a cost-of-living crisis.

Addressing the runaway prices of commodities, Tipu says shop owners are not responsible for it as they neither produce nor import goods. Instead, he pointed the finger at a 'syndicate' run by 15-20 importers, producers and supermarket owners.

Tipu believes that exemplary punishments and raids against these price gougers would help stabilise the prices of essentials.

He urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to intervene and fulfil the demands of shop owners to enable them to ride out the ongoing economic crisis.


- Simplify the VAT Act and instead of maintaining five books, apply 15% VAT to the net profit from the flat or gross sales price

- A policy on the quantity of goods that a dealer, wholesaler, and retailer can stockpile

- Form a committee with representatives from the shop owners’ association and

related ministries to determine the rate of net profit of wholesale and retail


- Extension of trading hours during the month of Ramadan until Eid-ul-Fitr




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